California Everyday Antisemitism Location Medium North America Religion United States of America Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

California Imam who prayed for Allah to “destroy” the “filth of the Jews” finally apologises

An Egyptian-born American Imam in Davis, California, has been exposed making statements which amount to antisemitic incitement. Imam Ammar Shahin, when he delivered last Friday July 22nd’s sermon at The Islamic Center of Davis, California, said
“Oh Allah, support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the Muslim lands. Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that You inflict upon them, and the wonders of Your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.”

He also quoted the infamous Hadith referencing Muslims slaughtering Jews, stating:

“Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah…’ They will not say: Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, of Afghan, oh Pakistani… The Prophet Muhammad says that the time will come, the last hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews. We don’t say if it is in Palestine or another place. Until they fight.””

Ammar is a preacher and a teacher at the centre, which has posted a statement on their Facebook page and on their website,, relating to the sermon:

“If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended. We will continue our commitment to interfaith and community harmony.”

The statement, in which it is acknowledged that many Jews are active for the Palestinian cause, denies any antisemitism on the part of their Imam. They accuse MEMRI, which published the text of the sermon, of being “an extremist, agenda-driven organization that supports Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land”. Quotations from the sermon, they say, were mistranslated and taken out of context. However, we are not currently aware of any major issues relating to the accuracy of MEMRI’s translations.

The English language Facebook page of The Islamic Centre of Davis appears to be unobjectionable, providing information about classes, events and services at the centre. Nonetheless, pardoning such comments demonstrates an underlying tolerance of antisemitism in the Centre’s religious life.

Sheikh Ammar said he was speaking with reference to Jews who prevented Muslims from praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, Israeli security impeded  prayer at the Al Aqsa very indirectly, by setting up metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount. This was in response to the murder of two Israeli police officers on 14 July. Muslim leaders at the Mosque called for worshippers to boycott it as long as the additional security measures remained on the Temple Mount. The Israelis removed the metal detectors last week and have since removed all remaining security hardware, including cameras and railings.

Worshippers have now returned to the Temple Mount, the site of the Al Aqsa. As of today, Thursday, there is a celebratory mood among Palestinians, who are singing, dancing and handing out candy.

Sheikh Ammar’s sermon has been widely reported, around the world. Following the outcry, he finally apologised on Friday, saying:

“To the Jewish community here in Davis and beyond, I say this deeply: I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused”

However, this apology came as a result of increased pressure, not least from the Council on American Islamic Relations, and public scrutiny. It is hard to see whether this is a bona fide apology, or rather an attempt to shelter from criticism, a question which time may well have the answer to.  In his sermon on 14 July, two weeks prior, the Imam lead his congregation in another prayer in which he called upon Allah to “destroy” Jews and to “turn jerusalem and Palestine into a graveyard for the Jews”

Davis is a college town, just east of Sacramento and has a large student population.

Shireen Qudosi, Director of Muslim Matters at America Matters, has started a petition, calling on the Davis Centre to fire their inflammatory imam.





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Canadian school textbook names Israel among countries that kidnap children to use as child soldiers

The Toronto Sun reported on 10 July that Bnai Brith of Canada have asked the publishers Nelson to withdraw copies of Canada and the Global Community. This Grade 6 textbook, aimed at children aged eleven or twelve, lists Israel along with Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Libya and Yemen as one of the countries which sends children into armed conflict.


“They (the child soldiers) are used as fighters, messengers and spies,” claim authors Mary Cairo and Luciana Soncin. “Most child soldiers are kidnapped from their homes and forced to fight … some children volunteer to fight because they feel pressure from peers.”

The accusation that a group of Jews are responsible for kidnapping children will seem eerily reminiscent of medieval blood libel, when Christians often used Jews as a scapegoat for the disappearance or deaths of children, among other things. The inaccuracy is so glaring that it seems difficult to see how it could arise through an innocent error.

The textbook was shown to Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada by the parent of a child whose class were using Canada and the Global Community as a text book.

The factual error was reported to publisher Nelson Canada by Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in March this year and the publisher swiftly notified the Education Ministry, issuing a replacement page for the book in sticker format.

Mr Mostyn praised Nelson’s response but found that, as of June 2017, most schools were continuing to teach with the original text, instead of using the corrected sticker pages. He feels that, as the book has been in use for three years, the schools should correct the record to make it plain that Israel is not using child soldiers and that every Ontario school should have the correct version in place by the new school term on 5 September.

The front cover of the textbook

A spokesman for the Education Ministry has assured B’nai Brith they are fully engaged with the situation and that all schools involved have been notified.

It is unlikely that the schools will have a chance to respond before the new term begins. B’nai Brith is asking parents to let them know whether or not the corrected version has been implented at their children’s schools.

Luciana Soncin was the principal of Toronto Catholic District School Board from 1998 to 2006. She has co-authored with Mary Cairo, an administrative coordinator in Vaughan, Ontario, a social studies Catholic resource called ‘Many Gifts,’ for elementary schools, also published by Nelson Canada, as well as a series of history books.

It is to be hoped that these are not marred by any other damaging inaccuracies.


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Czech Nationalists “blame the Jews” for country’s problems, as rising far-right party stands Holocaust denier in regional elections

The Olanška Hotel in Prague hosted a conference on 3 July named “Are you safe, Czech Republic?”, organized by the  far right “Safety, Responsibility, Solidarity” movement (Bezpečnost Odpovědnost Solidarita).

Anti-immigration, BOS has ties to the Order of the Nation party, which has growing support in the poorest regions and a presence on Facebook as Rad Naroda. About 150 people attended the conference, former army personnel present among them. Although anti-Muslim and anti-immigration activities are on the BOS agenda, there were cries of  “We blame the Jews, we had a bad experience with the Jews here. Why do they bring them over here? We want the Czechs only over here.” This was reported in the Czech online daily newspaper

Standing for Rad Naroda in this year’s regional elections is former actor and Holocaust denier Jiří Maria Sieber, whose CV includes baiting Roma people resident in the Czech Republic

Headquarters of Rad Naroda are located in a Prague villa, which belongs to the Russian Embassy. Joseph Zickler, leader of the nationalist party, says this is merely coincidental.